Heritage boats charm Harveys Lake

First Posted: 8/18/2014

There are a lot of wooden classic and heritage boats on Harveys Lake, more than one might expect, said Josh Bryant, president of the Antique and Classic Boat Society’s Northeastern Pa. chapter.

The group had a good turnout for its 24th annual boat show and Bryant said these beauties can be seen any nice Sunday afternoon when families bring them out to cruise around the lake.

One person not cruising in his boat was Ralph Flowers, of Dallas. He most recently bought one of the oldest boats on the lake from the estate of John Moore and is in the process of restoring the 1924 Great Lakes runabout, claiming his pockets will be emptied in the process. Flowers said he’ll use local restorers to recondition the 1924 boat, which came by train to Alderson from the Nww York City boat show.

Greg and Sandra Cole, of Danville, inherited their 1951 Century Sea Maid from her great aunt Blanche and uncle Buddy Hoblak, who lived at the lake until 2005.

Their boat is considered to be one of the most beautiful ones in the “preserved boat” category, which means it is 80 percent original.

The life of a boat can take many twists and turns, as Walt Weir and his wife Susan learned.

Their 1941 Chris Craft was launched in Buffalo, then sank in the Niagara River. It was put into storage for 40 years until being restored in the 1990s. Since then, it has won first place in a boat show on Lake Skaneateles in upstate New York.

Born in Dallas, Weir always wanted to live at the lake and have an antique boat like this.

Bill Nash, one of the founders of the NEPA chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and an exhibitor, insists he has “the best boat ever built,” a 1936 Garwood he bought from the Thousand Islands. He thinks his boat is worth about $45,000.

Craig Benson and his young 5- year-old son, Jeff, of Thompson, Pa., brought their 1936 Chris Craft, “Time Sleuth,” to the show. The younger Benson was agile and comfortable on the boat since, his father explained, he’s been in boats since he was in diapers. Jeff helped moor the boat to the dock and then took out a toy replica of the family boat which was on remote control, but he deferred to his dad when it was time to bring the toy in.

“Wheee ….,” he yelled, then said, “OK, Dad, now you bring it in.”

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